Do Not Return to Sender

Elyah was angry in the way anyone feeling duped by a smooth talking salesman would feel.  He did not purchase a lemon vehicle or a ill fitting suit; indeed he purchased nothing at all.  He simply came into possession of an old book, leather bound and smelling of decades now resigned to history books.  Its pages were brittle and yellowed, but it promised adventure from page one.

The adventure was far from fun however and Elyah was intent on expressing his frustration with the previous owner of the book.

“Josiah, you’re a terrible person,” Elyah said tersely as he barged into Josiah’s room.

“Bro, come on,” Josiah was eating cereal and reading a book in his bedroom.  Innocent activities, but his lack of pants indicated he wanted no visitors at the moment.

“This book promised me I could learn to ride a brown bear.”  Elyah waved the tome about wildly, nearly knocking the spoon from Josiah’s hand.

“Yeah, it’s called How to Ride a Brown Bear.  Very little wiggle room in what it could be about.  What in the world are you made about?” Josiah asked.

“I rode a brown bear,” Elyah said.

“So you read it?” Josiah was not seeing the problem.

“Do you know how fast a brown bear runs when a tiny human such as myself is hanging on to it? I do. It’s quite fast. And they are quite angry about the whole ordeal. Did you know that? The author of this book did not.  There is no disclaimer to be found.” Elyah rolled up his sleeves to reveal scraps, bruises and grass stains up and down his arms.  “I rode an angry brown bear through the forest today, Jos.”

Josiah laughed, “that sounds awesome.”

“Take back your dumb book.  Chapter two is all about training bears to ride bikes.  I won’t survive that.”

“Please do not return this book to me as I do not want it back,” Josiah said in the most bizarre phrasing imaginable.

Elyah stared at his brother with a quizzical look, “what?”

“Nothing.” Josiah attempted to move on from the phrase.

“Why aren’t you wearing pants?” Elyah asked.

“Society can’t tell me what to do in my own room,” Josiah answered.

“Punk rock, man.  Here’s your book back.”

“Thank you.”


Story inspired by a writing prompt provided by the always wonderful Ekta Garg of The Write Edge at



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